When it comes to studying a foreign language, you have numerous of options -- over 6,900, in fact! It is important to pick a language that is practical and interesting so you remain motivated and encouraged along your learning journey. For example, you may be fascinated by J.R.R. Tolkien’s Elvish, but how will you practice so your skills flourish? Here at CPI, we are....
slightly biased towards one language in particular—Spanish!
Here are a few reasons why you should choose Spanish for your foreign language adventure:
- Geography. If you live in the United States – a country without a named official language – you have likely found that Spanish is being spoken all around you. Having a shared border with Mexico and in close proximity to Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico, you could quite possibly encounter Spanish-speakers in your line of work or in local neighborhoods. Being able to speak Spanish will allow you to communicate with your neighbors which opens to you a fascinating new world of culture and camaraderie.
- Popularity. Did you know there are 400 million native speakers of Spanish, and Spanish is the official language of 21 countries? Confined not only to Central and South America, Spanish also pervades Africa and Europe. This staggering number of native speakers (more than the number of native English speakers!) makes it highly likely that you will find a chance to use your Spanish skills, helping prevent your knowledge from fading away for lack of practice.
- Food. Tapas from Spain rank high on any culinary list. And lovers of empanadas, tamales, ceviche, tostadas, and guacamole are also in luck. Spanish-speaking countries in the Americas offer a wonderful variety of delicious foods that you will want to try with an added bonus that food in countries with an agriculturally-based economy, particularly in Central & South America, is more likely to be grown locally. What a great way to excite your taste buds while appreciating and supporting the hard work of many native citizens.
- Adventures. From Mayan ruins and Machu Picchu in Peru to the Alhambra in Spain to the cloud forest in Costa Rica, Spanish-speaking countries have it all. You can search for historic sites to unearth new knowledge about native cultures and past empires. Seek out architecture by finding beautiful churches and government buildings; or, if you prefer an adrenaline rush, you can: zip line, snorkel, bungee jump, horseback ride, go caving, or hang glide. For nature lovers, there are acres of beautiful forests full of flora and fauna, many of which are protected by national governments in order to preserve their beauty for decades to come. In sum, it is safe to say that Spanish-speaking countries have something for everyone.
- Similarity. If you are a native English speaker, congratulations! You have already mastered one of the most irregular languages currently in use. Spanish should be an easier feat—words are usually spelled like they sound, vowels are only pronounced one way, and there are far fewer irregularities. Though English is not a romance language, it does have some shared roots with Spanish, so cognates are common. You will find that with a little study, you can understand some of what you read based on what you already know from your mother tongue.
Now you have all the reasons AND inspiration you could possibly need—it’s time to start learning Spanish!